TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - When St. John's senior Dallas Gant was deciding where he wanted to go to school, he had lots of options.
He was recruited by schools like Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State and Michigan State.
Gant chose to take his talents Ohio State, making the announcement in May on his birthday, and accredited The Rivalry as a big part of his decision.
"It affected it a lot," Gant said. "I mean, it's the best rivalry in sports. Being able to play in that is something meaningful. It's loved by all the Ohio State players and all The Team Up North players. It's the biggest game of the year always. We get their best, we give them our best. It's a great factor in recruiting, knowing that you're going to be playing in that game."
Gant said he's already getting used to referring to Michigan as The Team Up North, in true Ohio State fashion.
"Oh I have to. I'll get in big trouble if I don't," said Gant. "The first time I mentioned them, Coach Meyer wasn't too happy. So I have to get used to it by now, or else I'll have to pay."
This is one of the traditions Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer doesn't waste any time acclimating his recruits to.
"When I first was in Coach Meyer's office and referred to them as to them as the other name, he gave me a look and said, 'Don't say that again,' and I said, 'Okay, fair enough', and that's how that went," Gant said.
Gant isn't just aware of the magnitude of the rivalry game, he got to witness it first-hand last year. He also experience a similar atmosphere this season at the Ohio State vs. Penn State game.
"It was two amazing games, and to see that I will be playing in that kind of atmosphere with those thousands and thousands of fans with that much on the line, it's very interesting and every exciting to be a part of it," he said.
Games like these only heighten his anticipation of what's to come in his career with the Scarlet and Gray.
"It's unreal to think that I'll be playing in that stadium with great players like J.T. Barrett, the next J.T. Barrett and stuff like that," Gant said. "It's just crazy to think about that kind of thing. Playing in that rivalry game, playing for The Big Ten National Championship, things like that. Things people can only dream about. People in the stands or at home cheering for your team, and sweating and playing out there, it's just an unreal feeling."